Think Outside The Box
When it comes to testing your applications in the beta phase, you’re going to have some work ahead of you. There is no software that has ever been designed free of error—at least by human hands. That said, some vastly outperform others; and a lot of the reason for that is more careful coding, testing, and repair paradigms in place.
The best way to go about beta testing will involve two things. Firstly, you want to use a software framework of known beta-testing solutions which can more effectively log events and help you to swiftly identify where issues are, and help you determine what you are going to do about those issues.
You’re going to want to use API measuring and categorization solutions to help determine how to best design operational interface for ease of use. There are several means of doing this. Consider .NET core vs .NET framework: choosing a runtime & how to port can be difficult–but there are indicators; for example, .NET Framework has been primarily a Windows solution. .NET core is bringing such solutions to non-Windows devices, such as MacOS, as well as Linux.
Secondly, you’re going to want the most diverse array of beta-testing individuals you can source. You want them from within your company, as well as from without. You want informed users, and you want users who are unable to find their posterior with both hands and a map. This helps you most effectively gauge software performance. But finding such beta-testers can be hard. Following are several tips to help.
1. Source Them Internally
This may seem a little bit obvious, but don’t knock it: some of your best Beta-testers will be those you can source from inside your organisation. Granted, these individuals will have certain blind-spots.
For example, they’re more inclined to give a positive report where a negative one may be more appropriate. However, they will be readily available, and they’ll know problem areas; so this can help you save time in testing—provided you’re savvy enough to acquire additional Beta testing to balance out the “equation”, as it were.
2. Offer Incentives For Existing Clients
If you’ve got clients or users of your application already, you might offer them incentive to beta-test the new solutions. Now you want to choose the right clients here—your most loyal ones. And your incentives have to be affordable. Maybe you offer suspended charges, or discounts, or even something non-monetary like recognition.
3. Conduct Focus Groups Including Rewards
Non-clientele can be acquired through focus groups. You can put up free ads on Craigslist, and hold little seminars in hotel conference rooms complete with donuts, coffee, and Q&A to determine how well the software works overall.
4. Scout The Competition And Pull In Their Clients
This one can be a bit risky if you’re not careful. Corporate espionage is a big factor in today’s world. Additionally, in terms of Public Relations, you don’t want to seem as though you’re “on the fight”. Still, sometimes you can really get an idea of how effective your product is by using competitor clientele to beta-test. Additionally, you may convert a few.
5. Outsource Application Use To Overseas Institutions
There are entire echelons of technology “hired hands” overseas. India and China have virtual beehives of people who take on varying assignments for varying US tech companies. While this may not be ideal, and it will certainly have a price tag associated with it, you can likely commission an entire group of professional beta testers in this way.
More Effective Beta Testing
Beta testing is a lot like working out. If you want to fully flourish as a human being, you need to implement proper dieting and exercising. If you want your applications and other software to fully flourish in the market, it is absolutely essential that you beta test. But just like diet and exercise, there are some methods more recommendable than others.
While taking steroids may be the way some people decide to work out, and while such an approach may yield real results, there are health considerations down the line. Likewise, there are health considerations for your tech business if you beta test exclusively using internal employees, or overseas institutions. The best solution is to round out your strategy, just like in exercise you want to work multiple muscle groups.